Tuesday, February 27, 2007

IMA Announces Selection of 10 Inaugural Artists for Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park

From today's press release:

For immediate release – February 27, 2007

IMA Announces Selection of 10 Inaugural Artists for Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park

Andrea Zittel, Alfredo Jaar, Kendall Buster, Los Carpinteros, and Others to Create Site-Specific Works Exploring the Dialogue Between Art and Nature


100-Acre Park Will be One of the Largest Museum Art Parks in the United States

Indianapolis, February 27, 2007 – The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today 10 artists and artist collectives who have been selected to create works for the new IMA Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. They are: Haluk Akakçe, Atelier Van Lieshout, Kendall Buster, Sam Easterson, Peter Eisenman, Alfredo Jaar, Los Carpinteros, Tea Mäkipää, Type A and Andrea Zittel. Located on 100 acres of untamed woodlands, wetlands, lake and meadow adjacent to the Museum, the Fairbanks Art & Nature Park will feature site-specific commissions in a range of media that explore and respond to the varied environments of the Park. As announced in April 2006, Mary Miss will create the first permanent project, an elevated bridge and walkway which will descend through the canopy of trees and serve as a pedestrian gateway linking the Museum’s principal buildings to the Park.

Upon its opening in 2009, Fairbanks Art & Nature Park will be one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks. The IMA’s goal is to present contemporary art projects, exhibitions and discussions designed to strengthen the public’s understanding of society’s multi-faceted relationship with the natural world. Programming for the Art & Nature Park will grow directly out of the artworks, which will include temporary and permanent installations from emerging and established artists. The 100-acre Park site is bordered by the White River and runs contiguous to the IMA’s current 52-acre campus, more than half of which is comprised of historic landscapes and gardens. Commissions will be ongoing, with additional artists’ projects to be announced annually.

“Through time and across cultures artists have played a major role in helping to illuminate our relationship with nature, as illustrated in works found throughout our collections,” stated Maxwell L. Anderson, Director and CEO of the IMA. “Today, when human impact on the environment has emerged as one of the critical issues of our time, Fairbanks Art and Nature Park provides an unparalleled venue for artists to create works that extend this crucial role into the future.”

Created by artist Mary Miss and measuring approximately 1,500 feet in length, a handicapped accessible bridge and walkway will guide visitors from the main Museum building to the upper level of the new Fehnel Experiential Center, which will provide a visual and multisensory introduction to the Park by blurring the distinction between architecture, sculpture and landscape. The nearby Interpretive Pavilion will contain a multi-purpose room for educational programs and a small gallery space. The two buildings will be seamlessly woven into the natural environment, and will be constructed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Fehnel Experiential Center is made possible by a gift from Edgar and Dorothy Fehnel, longtime IMA supporters.

To date, IMA has raised $21.5 million toward the Park’s campaign goal of $40 million, which constitutes the third phase of the IMA’s expansion campaign. Institutional upgrades also included an expansion and renovation of the Museum’s building in 2005 and the renovation of the Lilly House, completed in 2002. In July 2006, the Museum announced an $11 million gift from the Fairbanks Foundation to support the Park’s construction.

The IMA has engaged architect Marlon Blackwell and landscape architect Edward L. Blake to work with the selected artists to transform the 100 acres into a dynamic place to experience contemporary art. The land, a former gravel pit, has evolved through a natural reclamation into its current state of untamed woodlands, wetlands, and a 35-acre lake. The land was donated to the IMA in 1972 by the Indianapolis construction firm Huber, Hunt, and Nichols.

A National Advisory Committee of four distinguished leaders in the fields of art and architecture assisted the IMA in developing plans for the Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. The advisors are: John Beardsley, senior lecturer in the landscape architecture department at Harvard Design School; Mary Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego; Reed Kroloff, dean of the School of Architecture at Tulane University and former editor of Architecture magazine; and Ned Rifkin, Undersecretary for Art at the Smithsonian.

About the IMA Contemporary Program

The IMA has been developing a robust contemporary art program, one that is evolving as a model for encyclopedic museums as they engage the art of our time. With a renewed focus on its contemporary collection, the IMA has been actively seeking out the works of new and emerging artists through both gift and acquisition, and in addition to organizing major traveling exhibitions, has established two innovative exhibition series to showcase the work of leading contemporary artists. The Museum has recently announced the groundbreaking Efroymson Pavilion installation program, a rotating series of site-specific artworks which will appear in its principal entry pavilion; and will soon unveil a new site-specific sculpture by Maya Lin. Opening in fall 2007, Lin’s sculpture will be sited on the William L. and Jane Fortune balcony,visible to IMA visitors as they move between the Fairbanks Art & Nature Park and the main Museum building.

FairbanksArt & Nature ParkInaugural Artists

Haluk Akakçe

Trained as an architect, Haluk Akakçe uses modern technologies to design and produce fantastical spaces and experiences using such unexpected devices as animation, film, video, sound, and wall installations. Recently, the New York public art organization Creative Time commissioned Akakçe's public art installation in Las Vegas (his second commission for Creative Time). Entitled The Sky is the Limit, the work was designed specifically for a public video screen called Viva Vision‑—the world’s largest video screening device, which takes the shape of a canopy over many city blocks. Akakçe was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1970 and currently lives in London and New York. He received a BFA from Bilkent University, Ankara in 1993 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; Centro Nazionale per le Arti Contemporanee, Rome; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; P.S.I Center for Contemporary Art, New York; and Kunst-Werke, Berlin. Akakçe’s work has also been featured in the following group exhibitions: the 2002 Shanghai Biennial; Painting at the Edge of the World, Walker Art Center, 2001; Neue Welt, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2001; and the 2000 Istanbul Biennial.

Atelier Van Lieshout

Founded in 1995 by Joep Van Lieshout, Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) is a Rotterdam-based multidisciplinary company and studio group. Atelier Van Lieshout produces design, architecture, furniture, versatile “mobile units,” and large-scale public arenas that accommodate specialty lifestyles. In 2001, the group founded an autonomous “Free State” called AVL-Villein the city of Rotterdam. AVL-Ville was a self-sustaining community with its own flag, currency, and constitution, and it was home to AVL’s collective practitioners for eight months. Joep Van Lieshout was born in 1963 in Ravenstein. He is a graduate of Rotterdam Academy of Modern Art and has also studied at Ateliers '63, Haarlem and Villa Arson, Nice. The Atelier Van Lieshout has exhibited extensively since its creation, including solo shows at Art Basel Miami Beach, FIAC at the Grand Palais in Paris, and the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands; recent group exhibitions include Mapping the Studioat Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, and Beaufort 2006 in Belgium.

Kendall Buster

Kendall Buster first studied microbiology and received a B.S. degree in Medical Technology before pursuing an education in art. She earned a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and a M.F.A. in Sculpture from Yale University and participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Studio Program in New York City. Buster’s large-scale “biological architecture” sculpture projects have been exhibited in numerous venues including the Hirshhorn Museum and the Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC; Artist’s Space in New York City; the Haggerty Museum in Milwaukee, Wis.; the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; the Bahnhof Westend in Berlin, Germany; and the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, South Africa. She is currently working on a project for architect Will Bruder’s Agave Branch Library in Phoenix, Ariz., and will have a solo exhibition at the Boise Museum of Art in the spring of 2007.

Buster has received grants from The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and The Joan Mitchell Foundation, and was the recipient of a 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in the Arts. She currently lives and works in Richmond, Va., and teaches in the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sam Easterson

Sam Easterson has worked as a video artist for more than 10 years. His work has been showcased at numerous art museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art ("Whitney Biennial"), New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass.; and the International Center of Photography, New York. Easterson's enterprise, Animal Vegetable Video, has also produced work that has been presented at numerous science centers, natural history museums, and interpretive centers including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Calif.; the Exploratorium, San Francisco, Calif.; the National Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand; and the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles, Calif. In addition, Easterson's work has also been featured on CNN, the Sundance Channel, NPR and in Grolier's Online Book of Popular Science.

Peter Eisenman

Peter Eisenman is an internationally recognized architect and educator. He has designed a wide range of projects, including large-scale housing and urban design projects, innovative facilities for educational institutions, and a series of inventive private houses. His recent work includes an environmental installation designed in collaboration with Laurie Olin at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.

Eisenman’s recent projects include a 68,000-seat stadium for the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, and the award-winning Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. His recent achievements include receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award from the International Architectural Biennale in Venice in 2004, the Smithsonian Institution’s 2001 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, and the 2001 Medal of Honor from the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Eisenman is also the founder and former director of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS), an international think tank for architecture.

Alfredo Jaar

Born in Chile in 1956, Alfredo Jaar is internationally recognized for his provocative installations and public projects which investigate contemporary socioeconomic issues. Trained as an architect and filmmaker, he incorporates photography, film, text, sculpture and design into works which have as a continuum the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. Jaar’s public artworks in the United States include the 1987 A Logo for America, a commission for the Public Art Fund which appeared on the Spectacolor Lightboard in New York’s Times Square, and Rushes,installed in New York City’s Spring Street subway station, which invited commuters to consider the parallels between the material desires of affluent Manhattan and the realities of impoverished Brazil. Since then, Jaar has made works drawn from first hand witness and research among other issues, toxic waste in Africa, Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong, the genocide in Rwanda, and contemporary Angola. The most recent works involve critique and reflection on the limits of representation and imagery, seen most clearly in his 2002 presentation at Documenta XI, “The Lament of the Images”. Jaar’s most recent solo museum show is Alfredo Jaar SCL, a twenty year survey at Telefonicam, Santiago, Chile. Other recent museum solo exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporaneo in Rome and a forthcoming exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lausanne.

Los Carpinteros

Formed in 1991, the work of the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros combines meticulous craftsmanship with shrewd political and social commentary. Recent projects have featured the repurposing of objects with violent connotations for use in daily life, such as Panera (Bread Box),a 2004 replica of a missile with side compartments for storing loaves of bread. The artwork of Los Carpinteros also illustrates the turmoil of daily life in Cuba, with pieces such as the recent Transportable City that evoke the country’s crumbling infrastructure through abstract portrayals of Havana’s iconic buildings. TransportableCityappeared as a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Hawaii, Honolulu (2002); at New York’s PS1 Contemporary Art Center (2001), and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2001). Los Carpinteros has also been featured in group exhibitions including Drawing Now: Eight Propositionsat New York’s Museum of Modern Art (2002), the Shanghai Biennale (2002) and recently in a solo exhibition titled Inventing the World / Inventar el mundowhich originated in 2006 at the USF Contemporary Art Center, South Florida University, Tampa, and later traveled to the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Ill., the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, and is currently on view until April 2007 at the Museum London, Ontario, Canada.

Tea Mäkipää

In Tea Mäkipää’s artworks, humans are treated as unique animal species, with a tight lens focused around their habits and habitations. Mäkipää’s works take shape in a variety of media, including fantastical photo landscapes, video documents, and built structures. Past works include a house suspended many stories above street level, built as an extension to an apartment, called Parasite (1998); the multimedia installation Domesticated Dreams (2000), with a lavish buffet consumed by “self marinating” escargot, flanked by videos of poultry intended for human consumption; and a large-scale folding screen World of Plenty (2005), featuring a utopian vision of interspecies harmony. Tea Mäkipää was born in Lahti, Finland, and lives and works in Leipzig, Germany. She holds her B.A. in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, and her M.A. in Fine Arts from the Royal College of Art, London. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows in such venues as the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Galleri21, Malmö, Sweden, and the Finnish National Museum of Art, Helsinki. Recent and upcoming public art installations have included her sculptural work 1:1 at Art Basel Miami Beach; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Halle 14, Leipzig, Germany; Museum Quartier, and MUMOK, Vienna; Catwalk; a permanent video installation for 5 projectors at VTT - Technical Research Center of the State of Finland, Espoo, Finland; and various variations of her 10 Commandments for the 21st Century, at venues such as Künstlervereinigung MAERZ, Linz (Austria) and Stiftung Ludwig Forum, Aachen (Germany). Mäkipää is currently an artist in residence at the Irish Museum for Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, and was recently announced as a participant in the 2007 Sharjah Biennial.

Type A

New Yorkbased Type A is the collaboration of Adam Ames (born 1969, BA 1991 University of Pennsylvania, MFA 1997 School of the Visual Arts) and Andrew Bordwin (born 1964, BA 1987 New York University). The collaborative has been working together since 1998. Their video, installation, photography, sculpture and drawing deal with issues of masculinity, competition and collaboration in contemporary society. Type A has exhibited extensively around the world, including such institutions as The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, The Luckman Fine Art Complex at California State University (Los Angeles), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis), Art in General (New York), Centrum Beeldende Kunst (Rotterdam), Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City), Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), Institute of Contemporary Art (Palm Beach), UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and The Johnson Museum at Cornell University (Ithaca) in addition to many galleries. Type A was in residency at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Philips Academy in Andover, Mass., throughout the 2005-2006 academic year. The collaborative teaches at Parsons School of Design at New School University.

Andrea Zittel

Since the early 1990s, Andrea Zittel has used her artwork to explore the concepts of environment and sustainability, creating functional objects inspired by basic human needs. In 1999, the New York Public Art Fund commissioned Zittel to create a site-specific installation for New York’s Central Park. The resulting sculpture, Points of Interest, used large fake rocks to illustrate the painstaking design inherent in creating a “natural” public space. That same year, Zittel created A-Z Pocket Property,a 54-ton floating concrete island off the coast of Scandinavia, which illustrated the interrelationship between freedom and isolation. Zittel’s recent exhibitions in 2005 include solo shows at New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has also been seen in Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Artat the University of Chicago (2006) and the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Mary Miss

Mary Miss, an artist known for her environmentally-based artwork, lives in New York. For more than four decades, Mary Miss’ work has examined the intersection of sculpture, architecture, environmental engineering and installation art in projects and proposals ranging from riverfront walkways to infrastructure sites. Grounded in the context of place, Miss creates installations that allow the visitor to become aware of the site’s history, its ecology, and surrounding environment. Permanent installations include “Framing Union Square” at the Union Square Subway Station in New York City and a wetlands preservation project in Des Moines, Iowa. Recently she was a lead designer of the collaborative team that won the competition to design the 1,300 acre Orange County Great Park currently being built in Irvine, Calif.

About the Architects

Edward L. Blake, Jr. is a landscape architect and founding principal of The Landscape Studio in Hattiesburg, Miss., with a professional career that has spanned more than three decades. His recent projects include the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center and the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Miss. Blake has been a visiting design critic at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Auburn University, University of Arkansas and its Mexico Summer Urban Studio, Louisiana State University, Iowa State University, Mississippi State University, Tulane University and the European Landscape Education Exchange in Pontlevoy, France.

Marlon Blackwell is an architect and professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. Work produced from his private practice has received national and international recognition through the AIA and Architecture Review’s ar+d design award programs. His work has been featured in a variety of architectural publications including Architecture, Arquine, A+U, Detail, Dwell, Southern Living, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architectureand a monograph An Architecture of the Ozarks: the Works of Marlon Blackwell,(March 2005). In 1998, the Architectural League of New York recognized him as an “Emerging Voice” in architecture. Blackwell has also held visiting professor positions at Syracuse University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

IndianapolisMuseumof Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the oldest and largest general art museums in the United States, with a permanent collection of more than 50,000 works of art. Situated on 152 acres that incorporate Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens and the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, the IMA features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary and decorative art, including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs, textiles and costumes.



Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA and Lilly House are open Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. For more information on the IMA, please visit www.ima-art.org

2 Responses to “IMA Announces Selection of 10 Inaugural Artists for Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park”

Anonymous said...
March 3, 2007 at 4:15 PM

The Ima has spent alot of money on the museum building and grounds.
What we need now is a great collection of art to put into the museum rather than outside in a nature park.


Anonymous said...
March 4, 2007 at 4:56 PM

The national stature of the IMA will rise through this projects innovative design and through suppport of contemporary art like that showcased in the Art and Nature park. As much as I might like to see a Manet, a blue period Picasso, Matisse or a great Velasquez or even a nice Paul Klee unveiled at the IMA tommorrow these pieces are mainly in and obtained through gifts of private collections. Hopefully, collectors worldwide will see the innovation and willingness to take risks at the IMA and reward it accordingly. Besides you never know, this park may commission a masterpiece and will certainly be an ongoing showcase for great art and leafwatching in the fall. I look forward to seeing it covered on when it opens to great fanfare in the local, national and international media. Something which, it and the IMA deserves. Indianapolis needs an outdoor sculpture park. Now it will have one.


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